Frequently Asked Questions

What subjects are covered by the COMPASS and GED tests?

The COMPASS covers reading, writing and math.

The current GED covers reading, writing, math, science and social studies. Students who have not taken any GED tests must first attend a GED registration session in the Testing Center. In 2014, the GED test will convert to an online format with four tests instead of five.


How long does each test take?

COMPASS is an untimed test. Listed below is the average time it takes for each test section.

     All three COMPASS tests : 1-1/2 to 2 hours

     COMPASS Math: 45 minutes

     COMPASS Reading and Writing: 1-1/4 hours


GED tests are timed. Before taking the GED exams, you must first attend a GED registration-orientation session.

     GED Registration: 45 minutes

     GED Reading: 1 hour, 5 minutes

     GED Social Studies: 1 hour, 10 minutes

     GED Science: 1 hour, 20 minutes

     GED Writing: 2 hours

     GED Math: 1 hour, 30 minutes


Where can I find study guides (COMPASS and GED tests)?

COMPASS - study guides on COMPASS page

COMPASS - general questions:

COMPASS - Math: Math Sample Tests

GED:  We suggest that you either take a GED preparation course (call 206-546-4602) or purchase a study guide from a bookstore or check one out from a library.


I need accommodation. Who can I contact for assistance?

The Office of Special Services at 206-546-4545.


What other placement tests does Shoreline Community College accept?



How do I register for classes?

Enrollment Services 206-546-4611.


I have my test results, but I don't agree with the outcome.  What can I do?

See an advisor by calling 206-546-4559, or contact an advisor for the specific class or program you are attempting to enter.


I'd like to retake the COMPASS test.  How many times can I take it and do I have to pay again?

You can take all or any part of the COMPASS test twice per quarter. The fee is $20 per retake (reading, writing and/or math).